Grab your magic wands and arcane staves as youprepare to join us in our Warhammer Underworlds: Wyrdhollow Review. Be warned: things are about to get really weird (or should that be wyrd?)!
Warhammer Underworlds: Wyrdhollow Review – Summary
Warhammer Underworlds: Wyrdhollow is another strong and successful release in a long line of satisfactory boxed games from Workshop sui giochi. Wyrdhollow retains all the classic features of Warhammer Underworlds that makes the game so great and put a fresh spin on things with two brand-new warbands represented by spectacular miniatures.
Warhammer Underworlds: Wyrdhollow Review – Introduction
Magic and mayhem take centre-stage in the latest instalment of Warhammer Underworlds from Workshop sui giochi. The ever-popular deck-building miniatures skirmish game is back, this time pitting a trio of Stormcast Eternal Knights-Arcanum against a gibbering gang of Tzeench-worshipping daemons.
Taking place somewhere within the savage heart of Ghur, the Realm of Beasts (as per the current Age of Sigmar narrative), this latest box from Gee-Dubyah has absolutely everything that two people need to dive right in to raging waters of Warhammer Underworlds.
We’ve missed the last couple of Underworlds release here at FauxHammer.com for various sucky reasons, but we’re glad to be able to bring you this new chapter in the Underworlds saga right out of the gates. A massive thanks to Workshop sui giochi for sending us this fun little box for the purposes of us writing this review.
Warhammer Underworlds: Wyrdhollow Review – What’s New
So, because we haven’t covered an Underworlds box since Nethermaze, we’ve got a little bit of catching up to do.
For us, the biggest change in this box as opposed to the last one we got our hands on is the inclusion of 4 Rivals decks instead of just 2. Previously (and when I say previously, we are dialling back about a year), Underworlds boxes have come with 2 Rivals Decks for your warbands, and then a number of Universal or Grand Alliance cards that can be subbed in or swapped out of your deck as you so desire.
This time, Wyrdhollow comes with four complete, ready-to-play decks. Included are the two Rivals decks you’d expect to find – so, that’s one for the Stormcast chaps and another for the Tzeenchy
boys girls things whatever they are, e another two called the Toxic Terrors and Seismic Shock decks. These are new universal Rivals decks, that can be used in place of any other standard Rivals decks to give you more ways to play.
There are, of course, also the Nemesis Format Rules which these additional Rivals decks are designed to build into. In the words of these rules themselves, in Nemesis, “you choose a warband and a universal Rivals deck. Using your warband’s Rivals deck and the universal deck you chose, you build a deck with your own strategy and tactics then put it through its paces on the battlefields of Warhammer Underworlds.”
So, pick your figures, your basic deck, and whichever universal deck you choose, build your own custom hand! This will appeal hugely to more advanced and experienced Underworlds players who want to really get the jump on their enemies, or players who have always liked a particular warband but want to give them that extra little bit of personalised zing.
In addition to this, there are a couple of new rules you can use in game. These revolve around Stun e Barge actions. Stun is designed to help you make the most of any combos and keep your enemy’s units on the back foot: a fighter you possess that is adjacent to an enemy declares the enemy Stunned, which allows you to re-roll one dice in any casting or attack action. Barge is a combination of Stun and Move – like Charge. Your character can move swiftly up to a target and stun them – this, of course, risks exposing your character to retribution from your foe, should you be too hasty and end up out of position. In addition to this, Wyrdhollow introduces Snare Hexes, which are environmental obstacles that can apply stuns to whoever is unlucky enough to end up in one of these spaces.
Finally, Wyrdhollow is introducing a new Salvage mechanic. Got a useless card in your hand that you can’t use because the associated fighter is out of action? Simply discard it and draw another!
Warhammer Underworlds: Wyrdhollow Review – Unboxing
Anyway, cracking on: here’s the new box.
Depicting both new warbands on the cover, it’s certainly striking. I’m getting the impression there’s a lot of magic spread across these two warbands. Can’t for the life of me figure out why that is.
Beneath the lid we find out sprues.
There are two small sprues for the miniatures in this set: a light blue sprue for the Tzeench warband, a dark blue one for the Stormcast Eternals.
One of the wonderful things about Underworlds is that the miniatures all tend to be push-fit. This helps make the game far more accessible to total newcomers to the hobby who may not have glue at hand. Of course, we’d always recommend applying a little drop of your favourite plastic glue or cement here and there to make sure things things stay put.
Setting the sprues to one side, we have a few more bits: namely the dice and the four card decks in this set. More on these later.
Lifting out the card divider, we have the last few bits and pieces in this set. First, we have the rulebook. Wyrdhollow’s rulebook is definitely a bit chunkier than previous iterations. Nethermaze was 51 pages, Wyrdhollow is 55, but the book feels heavier. Different grade of paper, I guess?
Last but not least,. we have the folding boards and all the tokens, as well as the A4 sheet construction guide.
We’ll take a closer look at this all now.
Warhammer Underworlds: Wyrdhollow Review – Contents
So, here’s what’s in the set:
- 1 x Warhammer Underworlds: Wyrdhollow rulebook
- 8 x Miniatures
- 3 x Domitan’s Stormcoven
- 5 x Ephilim’s Pandaemonium
- 2 x Warhammer Underworlds gaming boards
- 1 x set of Warhammer Underworlds dice
- 2 x token boards
- 4 x card decks
- 2 x Rivals decks
- 2 x Universal Rivals decks
We’ll have a closer look at everything now.
Warhammer Underworlds: Wyrdhollow Review – Literature
There’s only one book in the Wyrdhollow box, but it’s a pretty important one.
Regolamento di Warhammer Underworlds
The Warhammer Underworlds: Wyrdhollow rulebook is, from page to page, fairly similar in content and layout to its previous iterations.
The book starts with a good few sides of lore and setting information, helping the reader understand where the events that they can play out using the contents of the set sit within the larger Warhammer Age of Sigmar universe – because it all does. Underworlds: Wyrdhollow, like any GW release, takes place within a far larger, overarching narrative arc.
Players can learn all about the evil taking place within Ghur and the opportunities it offers the various denizens of the Mortal Realms (and beyond, certainly in the case of the mysterious Ephilim and their pals), and what their ultimate plans are for the new setting.
There are, of course, a good splash of pictures of painted miniatures to inspire you to pick up your brushes and start painting.
The majority of the book, however, is given over to getting you playing the game. Everything is set out in chronological order, designed to walk you through each step of a battle round before giving you a gentle push out onto the roiling waters of Underworlds. One thing that catches my eye, however, are the Advanced Rules.
Throughout the book, there are boxes (and quite a few boxes, too) containing advanced rules. This is another new thing for us (and, again, we’re a little behind with Underworlds releases). There are lots of these boxes scattered throughout the book – but don’t be too put off by the word “advanced”. A lot of these so-called “advanced” rules are fairly straightforward and act as more detailed explanations of the regular rules, often to help explain things further or in more detail to avoid discrepancies during play. Note that these aren’t optional rules in the sense that advanced rules in certain games or other systems tend to be.
Also, another thing that appears to be new (certainly for us, who’ve missed a couple of Underworlds releases!) is that there are a few pages towards the rear of the book given over to expanded multiplayer games. Traditionally, Underworlds is a game played between two people, but there is provision for playing with up to four people now – super useful, especially if you’ve got extra Underworlds starter sets (and friends).
Warhammer Underworlds: Wyrdhollow Review – Wargear
Next up, we’ll take a look at all the resources and other stuff that comes in the box to help you play your game. This includes any cards, tokens, and playing board – conveniently, Underworlds: Wyrdhollow contains all of these!
First up, the…
Schede di gioco
The Underworlds game boards are always works of art. Don’t be too drawn in by the art on each side, however: these double-sided boards serve an important purpose in game.
You’ll notice that there are different icons laid out on each side. This is because at the start of the game, the first thing the opposing players must do is select a board and place it with one of its sides up. The different markers and icons on the board represent where different objective tokens can be placed, where hazards are and, very importantly, where your miniatures can be placed during deployment.
That said, whilst these boards do serve a very important tactical function, these boards do also look really great.
The boards are designed to look like the fleshy trees and mutating bark of the Gnarlwood to ensure you’re fully immersed in your current setting. The art is great, the print quality is good, too, and the boards are designed to be folded and re-folded easily without being damaged.
Fin qui tutto bene.
Underworlds sets always come with a tide of tokens. From left to right, we’ve got 38 Glory Points tokens, 8 Activation tokens, 6 Raise tokens, 13 Guard/Stagger tokens, 24 Wound/Generic counters, a pile of Snare/Cover, Scatter, and Objective/Cover and Feature tokens in the middle. Finally, in the bottom right-hand corner, we’ve got the 13 Move/Charge tokens.
The tokens, much like the boards before them, are all good-quality prints on decent-grade card. The art and print quality is also great, so there’s very little here to criticise.
I also had no issues popping these out of their token boards – not a single snag or tear, which is always a marker of good quality.
As we’ve mentioned a couple of times already, there are no fewer than 4 Rivals decks in the new Wyrdhollow box. These are the cards that provide you with statistics for the miniatures in this set, as well as dictate the abilities you can use throughout a game. They form the basic building blocks for any deck you may wish to build as you grow more confident as an Underworlds player.
The first two decks are the basic Rivals decks for the Stormcast Eternals and the Tzeench weirdos. It will come as no surprise to anyone that Glory Points for both warbands are scored largely by offloading as many spells as you possibly can – though there are nuances. Ephilim’s Pandemonium, for example, is to a large degree about using their hideous little helpers to do most of the grisly legwork – even sacrificing them to score points – whilst the Stormcast Eternals are more about playing aggressively, blasting off spells, and ripping board control away from their foes.
There are also the two Universal Rivals decks. The Seismic Shock deck is, again, very weighted towards magic use and ensuring your wizards are sitting on objectives, whilst thee Toxic Terrors deck – and, again, no surprises here – is all about poisoning your enemies. It favours subtle play and crowd control over outright aggression. If this is more your thing, this deck is for you.
As always, this underworlds set also contains a set of Underworlds-themed dice.
I mean, they won’t win any beauty contests, but they get the job done – and that their colours are loosely themed to the overall scheme of the box is always a nice touch.
Warhammer Underworlds: Wyrdhollow Review – Models
Now we arrive at the really good bit: the new Citadel miniatures available in the Wyrdhollow box.
Across the two new warbands included in the Wyrdhollow box are eight brand-new minis representing the denizens of these two opposing forces. There are 3 new Stormcast Eternal figures, and 5 representing the Tzeench part of the box.
First up, we’ll have a look at the Stormcast Eternal miniatures – collectively called Domitian’s Stormcoven. These five Knights-Arcanum represent the heavily-armoured sorcerer knights of Sigmar’s eternal warriors.
And, boy oh boy, do they deliver.
Domitian himself is a magnificent figure. Powerful and imposing he is sculpted standing tall and proud, hand holding an invisible orange as he manipulates the very fabric of the realms around him, lifting a huge lump of masonry from the floor.
His allies, Sarpon, the Cyclone, and Leona Stratosi also make for formidable figures. Sarpon, pictured bare-headed and clutching his sword in one hand and his stave in the other, cuts a completely different figure to his allies: there’s considerably more martial prowess to this particular warrior. Leona, however, is levitating off the ground, hand extended. There’s a sinister grace to her pose that, again, identifies her as completely different to her two allies,
Each model is covered in loads of lovely details that painters will be itching to get a brush around. The models also come on nice sculpted bases too, which helps add to their theme and character (and, perhaps, saves you basing them with your own materials).
As mentioned back in the unboxing section, all these figures are largely push-fit. Sure, they will go together better and be less likely to fall apart on the table should you apply a little glue to them, but the choice is entirely yours. Of the figures in the box, the Stormcasts also number as the easiest to assemble. Each is only made of a handful of parts, and thanks to their familiar humanoid shapes, it’s pretty obvious where everything is supposed to go.
Here are the ones that I was sent painted up. They’re easy enough to paint and quite good fun. Still very typical when compared to other units in the Stormcast Eternals range (as just about all Stormcast Eternal units are), but there’s a great deal of pose and dynamism in these giys.
Their characters and their battlefield roles really shine though. Sarpon, for example, who is more martial in his approach to battle, has his sword drawn, no floaty magic stuff on his base, and also lacks the long sleeves of his companions. Leona, who is levitating, oozes magical prowess, whilst Domitian, hand cupped, standing resolute, personifies command.
Things take a sharp turn for the unusual in the Tzeench side of the Wyrdhollow box. With miniatures about as far removed from the standard swole dudes in armour archetype for which Warhammer is known, Ephilim’s Pandaemonium certainly put the “weird” in Wyrdhollow. Let’s start with the titualar chappie.
This model is whack.
The astute amongst you will note Ephilim’s resemblance to a Silver Tower sorcerer – which is where it appears, his inspiration/lineage derives. I can’t claim to be very hot on my Tzeench lore, but this weird and wonderful miniature – with too many arms, eyes, and various other bits all in the wrong place – certainly fits the bill of sinister and creepy chaos sorcerer.
Ephilim is a bit more fiddly to assemble than the Stormcast Eternals, insofar that you have to hook one of his arms around another and also balance his head on top of a contact point, then sandwich those parts together between a front and a back piece of a torso. It’s about as touch as he gets, but the positioning of that arm may catch some people out.
Some of Ephilim’s summons and familiars are also a bit on the tricky side to build – particularly Flamespooler (the bird-like creature below, clutching a spell in its feet). Because the orientation of the model is so weird, it can be tricky to figure out where Flamespooler’s head is supposed to sit before you sandwich it between the two halves of his torso – and the reference image in the build guide is a bit small. Do refer to the image below, if that is at all helpful.
There are a few similar issues with Spawnmaw (above) and Apo’trax, the Starefysh (below), in that one or two of their components are a bit odd and given their weird model designs, it’s not always clear where the bits need to go. Make sure you dry fit everything before you make any hard commitments, and be patient.
Kindlefinger – that’s the adorably horrific thing made up of too many arms – is just a single component to be attached to a base. Super easy.
In all, whilst the Tzeench builds are every-so-slightly more tricky than the Stormcast Eternals before them, they aren’t by any stretch of the imagination challenging. As long as you’re patient, you’ll figure it out, and you’ll be rewarded with some super weird, really whacky models by the time you’re done.
I also have to say that I had a blast painting Emphilim’s Pandemonium.
These are without doubt some of the most interesting, challenging, and amusing models to paint. I must admit, I had more fun painting these five weird Tzeenchy guys than I have painting anything else in a very long time.
If you’re after some fun minis to paint, Ephilim’s Pandemonium are pretty much as good as it gets.
Warhammer Underworlds: Wyrdhollow Review – Price and Availability
These Warhammer Underworlds boxes clock in at the £65.00GBP/$95.00USD/€80.00EUR price mark straight from Workshop sui giochi, and Wyrdhollow is exactly the same. It’s likely your friendly local gaming store may be able to offer you a bit of cash off, however, so do be sure to check out your local independent to see if you can save some cash!
Warhammer Underworlds: Wyrdhollow Review – Where to Next?
If Wyrdhollow is your first delve into Warhammer Underworlds, the next logical step for you is to have a look at what other warbands are on sale. Workshop sui giochi tend to cycle these in and out ever few months – as everything pre-Harrowdeep is now unavailable – but it’s always worth checking your FLGS to see if they have any copies of some of the older warband or previous releases available. If you’re just in it for figures to paint, the models available in the Underworlds sets tend to be great fun to paint up as there tends to be a lot of variation across each warband.
If you’re old hat at Underworlds by now, you’ll want to be spending some time going through those pre-made Toxic Terrors and Seismic Shift Rivals Decks to see what’s on offer in those cards can help augment the way you play wioth your current warband of choice. Don’t forget, you can use the Nemesis rules to these Universal Rivals decks in with other warband decks and unlock some powerful tactics and combinations.
Warhammer Underworlds: Wyrdhollow Review – Final Thoughts
|Really nice, new miniatures that are easy to assemble|
Tokens and boards are of utmost quality and look really nice
Choice of decks will appeal to more experienced players
Rules remain clear and well-written
Magnificent miniatures to paint
|A couple of the Tzeench miniatures are a little confusing to build.|
I’m usually a real grouch writing reviews and find myself picking out the tiniest flaws in products and slapping then in our Cons column above. But I have to admit I’m having a hard time thinking of things that I didn’t like about this new box.
There were a couple of moments building one or two of the Tzeench minis that left me scratching my head a bit. The sandwichy ones – where you have to squish components between others – require a little bit of fiddly lining up, but other than that there’s not much to criticise. The Stormcast miniatures in particular are so easy to assemble you could likely to it with your eyes closed.
Everything else in the box is good quality, too. The boards are robust and the print quality is excellent, and all the tiles and tokens pop from their boards without any snags or tears (well, mine did at least). The cards are great – but Underworlds cards are sempre great, channelling a little of that Magic: The Gathering illustrated energy on each to keep visual interest nice and high.
Wyrdhollow doesn’t reinvent the game’s wheel. Underworlds boxes rarely do – but that, in a way, is what makes them quite a lot of fun. They aren’t too intimidating to pick up, and the rules never get shakes up to such an extent that you have to re-learn the entire game. What Wyrdhollow does do is provide by way of its new minis and card decks is a slightly new twist on a popular and solid game that happens to be a hell of a lot of fun.
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